As many facets of Irish society have been going through radical change and rationalisation in recent years; so, many of its constituent parts have been challenged by the need for refreshment and others, by a need for a new beginning.
Freemasonry, when spoken about, elicits many responses from the general public, many of the clichéd and expected responses are of a secret organisation which sets itself apart from the society in which it operates; where membership is based on invitation and whose objectives are a mystery.
In September 2010, the Grand Orient of Ireland was instituted in Ireland, and a new freemasonry took root. Formed in the style of continental freemasonry and organised on secular lines, it upholds the vision of a society organised on the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, all wrapped up in Solidarity
Being based in a community is crucial for liberal freemasonry. It needs to be a strong and passionate supporter of the community, to be open to membership from that community, to support and vocalise local concerns and issues, as far as they impinge on the role of the citizen and to use its charities fund for local needs and causes. Unless it is in the community it cannot be part of that community.
We are open to applications for membership from all men and women, from those with strong religious beliefs and none, from those with deeply held political convictions and none, and from those citizens seeking enlightenment through fraternity. It is our desire to have an organisation which reflects the multicultural and multi-ethnic society in which we live. We are an organisation which binds its members together through ancient rituals and symbols; which teach each of its members the joy of fraternity, the wonder of freedom and liberty and the pleasure of the quest for equality and enlightenment.
We chose the name Wolfe Tone; the father of Irish Republicanism, for our Cork lodge as it was he who embraced the principles of the French Revolution and sought to establish an Irish Republic where all citizens, regardless of their race, colour or creed, would be treated and cherished equally. His reputation has been much maligned by individuals, groups and organisations who have misrepresented what he stood for and have demeaned the reasons why he gave his life for Ireland. We wish to remove the tarnish attached to Wolfe Tone and by our actions and work seek to burnish his reputation.